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A robustness-based approach to systems-oriented drug design

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Fabien Petitcolas.

Abstract: Many potential drugs that specifically target a particular protein considered to underlie a given disease have been found to be less effective than hoped, or to cause significant side effects. The intrinsic robustness of living systems against various perturbations is a key factor that prevents such compounds from being successful. By studying complex network systems and reformulating control and communication theories that are well established in engineering, a theoretical foundation for a systems-oriented approach to more effectively control the robustness of living systems, particularly at the cellular level, could be developed.

Here, I use examples that are based on existing drugs to illustrate the concept of robustness, and then discuss how a greater consideration of the importance of robustness could influence the design of new drugs that will be intended to control complex systems.

Biography: Hiroaki Kitano is a Director at Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. and a Project Director of Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project, ERATO -SORST, Japan Science and Technology Agency. He is also a President of The Systems Biology Institute, a visiting professor of the University of Tokyo and Keio University, and a Founding President of The RoboCup Federation. He received a B.A. in physics from the International Christian University, Tokyo, and a Ph.D. in computer science from Kyoto University. Since 1988, he has been a visiting researcher at the Center for Machine Translation at Carnegie Mellon University. Kitano received The Computers and Thought Award from the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence in 1993, Prix Ars Electronica 2000, Japan Design Culture Award 2001, and Good Design Award 2001, as well as being an invited artist for Biennale di Venezia 2000 and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York in 2001. His research interests include AI, Robotics, and Systems Biology.

This talk is part of the Microsoft Research Computational Science Seminars series.

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